Believe it or not, I typed up an end of 2020 email and then never posted it. I suck at updates. Anyway, here are a couple of quick highlights before I get into the details:
Raike 5 (The Gentleman) is complete! I finished the alpha version way back in February 2020 and it’s taken a while for me to work on it after getting it back from my editor and beta readers, but yesterday I reached the last of the edits. Today’s job: publish the damn thing.
I’ve also got a new series lined up for 2021. Six books, fantasy again, this time following The Knights of Many – a small band of heroes on their wild misadventures. With any luck those books will be out this year, but I’ve been wildly optimistic before, so let’s just say they’ll be published before 2050.
The long version:
A few things happened as soon as I finished the fifth Raike book, back in the long-ago world of February 2020. The day after I finished the book, I started renovating my house by ripping off all the plasterboard, sanding floors, and insulating walls and ceilings. A year later, the walls and ceilings are now plastered and painted a very boring white. I miss my purple office but that will be rectified soon enough. We spent the best part of a year moving furniture from one half of the house to the other, living in cramped conditions, sleeping in the TV room with missing floorboards or using the hallway as a kitchen, and I didn’t have a dedicated space to write for most of the year, so a lot of writing was sporadic in an open plan and noisy house. Basically: I didn’t do much writing.
Normally when I’m done with a book I either dive straight into the next one in the series or tinker with another project. The other project after Raike 5 was the Knights of Many. It’s more of a light-hearted fantasy series that I’d been working on between Raike books for a while, or when I was done with Raike for the day but still had some energy left, so I’d write a few hundred words here or edit a couple of pages there. I honestly wasn’t expecting to go full time on that series until after Raike 6. Unfortunately, Covid-19 happened.
Our state went into full lockdown for the best part of 9 months. I tried writing Raike 6 in bed or on the sofa, but it’s a doom and gloomy story, and since the inside of my house and the great outdoors was doom and gloomy, I just never found a good way into the book. After 20,000 words I crashed, and returned to the cheerier adventures of the Knights of Many instead.
The series has been a work in progress since just before Raike 1 was published. It was the back-burner project, originally going to be six novellas, each 35,000 words long. Considering my shortest book published is over 100,000 words, doing a third of that should be easy, right? Hellllll no. Somewhere along the way the series became six books of 50,000 words. Much more manageable, right? Nope! It’s surprisingly hard to write short books when you’re used to writing longer ones. So each book is now 70,000 words which, naturally, means that it has taken twice as long to write as I first expected. At this point I have completed 3 of the 6 (books 3, 4, and 5, weirdly). I’m trying to complete them all before the first one is published, because I know I write slower than some people prefer and they want the next book now now now. After that, I hope to return to Raike 6, though I will likely scrap what I had written before and start again.
Anyway, that’s the quickish update. More news will soon follow.